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【纽约时报】iPhone的影响不过如此



十年前,iPhone刚刚诞生。在这十年间,我们见证了智能手机如何改变了我们的生活。越来越多的时间花在了手机上,每天能接触到更多的信息。思想(的交流)似乎更自由了。几百年前,印刷术的普及,让更多人得以外出远游,因为他们有了印刷地图;让更多欧洲人接触到来自天主教堂外的思想。如今,智能手机的普及无疑改变了我们的生活方式,但它是否像印刷术那样让人类更自由呢?


iPhone的影响不过如此


译者:尹子梦

校对:王乐颖

词汇:李林治

策划:朱宇晴


The Phone Is Smart, but Where’s the Big Idea?

有了智能手机,但何处寻找伟大思想?


本文选自 The New York Times | 取经号原创翻译

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I used a smartphone GPS to find my way through the cobblestoned maze of Geneva’s Old Town, in search of a handmade machine that changed the world more than any other invention. Near a 13th-century cathedral in this Swiss city on the shores of a lovely lake, I found what I was looking for: a Gutenberg printing press.

我用智能手机的导航功能在鹅卵石遍布、迷宫似的日内瓦老城中寻找一种手工机器,它对世界的改变比其他任何一种发明都大。在这座瑞士城市的美丽湖畔,一座13世纪的教堂附近,我发现了自己要寻找的东西:一台古腾堡印刷机。

cathedral  n./kəˋθidrəl/ n.main church of a district under the care of a bishop 总教堂; 大教堂


“This was the Internet of its day — at least as influential as the iPhone,” said Gabriel de Montmollin, the director of the Museum of the Reformation, toying with the replica of Johann Gutenberg’s great invention. It used to take four monks, laboring in a scriptorium with quills over calfskin, up to a year to produce a single book.

 “它就是当年的互联网,起码和iPhone一样有影响力,”日内瓦宗教改革国际博物馆负责人加布里埃尔·芒特莫兰说道,手里摆弄着约翰·古腾堡伟大发明的复制品。从前,四个修道士在一间缮写室里,用小牛皮包裹的羽毛笔写上一年,才能生产出一本书。

replica n./ˋrɛplɪkə/ n.exact copy, esp one made by an artist of one of his own pictures, etc 精确的复制品(尤指出自图画等之原作者之手的) 

scriptorium n./[skrɪp’tɔ:riəm/ a copying room for scribes especially in a medieval monastery 尤指修道院的缮写室


With the advance in movable type in 15th-century Europe, one press could crank out 3,000 pages a day. Before long, average people could travel to places that used to be unknown to them — with maps! Medical information passed more freely and quickly, diminishing the sway of quacks. And you could find your own way to God, or a way out of believing in God, with access to formerly forbidden thoughts.

在15世纪欧洲,随着可移动印刷机的发展,一台印刷机每天可印3000页。不久后,普通百姓就能去到他们以前从来不知道的地方——因为他们有了地图!医疗信息的传播也更加方便快捷,减少了庸医的影响。你可以找到自己的方法去接近上帝,或是选择不再信仰上帝,因为你能接触到从前遭禁止的思想。

crank out v./kræŋk aʊt / to produce things in large numbers without caring much about their quality  大量生产 

quack n./kwæk/person who pretends to have special knowledge and skill, esp in medicine冒充有专门知识和技能的人; (尤指)庸医


The printing press offered the prospect that tyrants would never be able to kill a book or suppress an idea. Gutenberg’s brainchild broke the monopoly that clerics had on scripture. And later, stirred by pamphlets from a version of that same press, the American colonies rose up against a king and gave birth to a nation.

印刷机给人们提供了一种可能,专制统治者再也不能封杀一本书或压制一种思想 。古腾堡的发明打破了牧师对经文的垄断。随后,一本手册中的愿景激励了美国的被殖民者,使他们奋起反抗国王,创造了新的国家,这本手册正是由同款印刷机印制的。

brainchild n./`breɪn,tʃaɪld / a clever system, organization, or plan that someone thinks of and develops发明

cleric n./cler·ic / a member of the clergy of a religion, especially one that has trained or ordained priests, preachers, or other religious professionals 牧师


So, a question in the summer of this 10th anniversary of the iPhone: has the device that is perhaps the most revolutionary of all time given us a single magnificent idea? Nearly every advancement of the written word through new technology has also advanced humankind.

那么,在这个iPhone诞生十周年的夏天,一个问题出现了:这个可能是有史以来最具颠覆性的设备给我们带来过任何伟大的思想吗?几乎每种通过新技术对书面文字产生的进步都能推动人类发展。


Sure, you can say the iPhone changed everything. By putting the world’s recorded knowledge in the palm of a hand, it revolutionized work, dining, travel and socializing. It made us more narcissistic — here’s more of me doing cool stuff! — and it unleashed an army of awful trolls. We no longer have the patience to sit through a baseball game without that reach to the pocket. And one more casualty of Apple selling more than a billion phones in a decade’s time: daydreaming has become a lost art.

当然,你可以说iPhone改变了一切。它将全世界的知识集中于手掌方寸之间,彻底改变了工作、饮食、旅游和社交。它让我们变得更加陶醉于自我——看,我做的事情多帅!它也解锁了大量的恶习。我们不再有耐心不碰手机坐下看完一场棒球赛。苹果在十年间销售了十多亿部手机的另一个坏处是:空想成了一门失落的艺术。

narcissistic adj. /’nɑrsɪ’sɪstɪk/ too much interest in and admiration for your own physical appearance and/or your own abilities 自我迷恋的


For all of that, I’m still waiting to see if the iPhone can do what the printing press did for religion and democracy. This year is also the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther posting his 95 theses against the corruption of the Roman Catholic Church; the Geneva museum makes a strong case that the printing press opened more minds than anything else.

对于这一切,我仍然对iPhone能否能像从前印刷机那样对宗教和民主产生影响拭目以待。今年也是马丁·路德反对罗马天主教会的腐败而发表九十五条论纲500周年纪念。日内瓦宗教改革国际博物馆坚持认为,比起其他任何事物,印刷机使更多人解放了思想。


The museum’s exhibition — “Print! The First Pages of a Revolution” — quotes Luther as saying that the press was “the greatest and most extraordinary act of Divine Grace.” As a renegade Catholic monk, Luther might never have seen his writings find their way out of a monastery. But through Gutenberg’s democratizing machine, about 300,000 copies of Luther’s provocations were circulated between 1517 and 1520. Christianity would never be the same.

该馆的展览——“印刷!革命的第一页” ——引用了路德的话,称印刷是“神的恩典中最伟大和最非凡的行为。”作为一个叛离天主教的修道士,路德可能永远没法见证他的作品在修道院之外产生的影响。但通过古腾堡推进民主的机器,1517至1520年间约30万份路德的论纲复制品得以传播。基督教从此被改变了。

renegade n. /ren·e·gade / person that deserts a cause, political party, religious group, etc (事业﹑ 政党﹑ 宗教团体等的)背叛者


Similarly, it’s hard to imagine the French or American revolutions without those enlightened voices in print.

同样,如果那些启蒙的声音没能印刷出版,很难想象法国和美国的革命会变得怎样。


In the beginning of the written word, about 5,000 years ago, people scrawled information on clay. Their messages were sometimes bawdy, more often banal. The Greeks gave us humor, tragedy and poetry. Scrolls of papyrus were portable; Roman commanders used them as the equivalent of paperbacks, tucked into pockets.

约5000年前文字刚刚出现的时候,人们把信息在黏土上。这些信息有时很粗俗,但大多数是平淡无奇的。希腊人为我们带来了幽默、悲剧和诗歌。成卷的文稿便于携带,因此罗马的统帅们将它们当平装书用,卷起来放进口袋。

scrawl v./skrɔːl/ write or draw (sth) in an untidy, careless or unskilful way 不工整﹑ 不仔细或无技法地写或画

papyrus n./pa·py·rus / manuscript written on this paper (纸莎草纸上的)文献, 手稿


“On the Nature of Things,” a poem from the Roman philosopher Lucretius in the first century B.C., was one of the most “dangerously radical” things ever written, Stephen Greenblatt argued in his book “The Swerve.” Rediscovered and then printed in the early stages of the Renaissance on Gutenberg’s press, the poetic celebration of the good life overturned much of Europe’s dour medieval mind-set.

罗马哲学家卢克莱修在公元前一世纪写了一首名为《物性论》的诗,斯蒂芬·格林布拉特在《大转向》一书中表示,这首诗是所写的最“危险且激进”的东西。在文艺复兴初期,这首诗被重新发现,并通过古腾堡的印刷机打印出来,诗歌里对幸福生活的赞颂打破了欧洲许多冷酷的中世纪思维模式。


Count Magna Carta, one of the founding documents in the evolution of free societies, and Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales,” which popularized English vernacular, among the highlights of the thousand years or so when books were made by hand-cramped scribes, or printed from wooden blocks.

在书籍还是由抄写员辛苦手写或用木块印刷的千年时间里,自由社会演变的基础文件之一《自由大宪章》,和乔叟所著、使英格兰方言得以普及的《坎特伯雷故事集》可以算作这期间最精彩的产物。

scribe n./skraɪb/person who made copies of writings before printing was invented (印刷术发明之前的)抄写员


Not long after Steve Jobs introduced his iPhone, he said the bound book was probably headed for history’s attic. Not so fast. After a period of rapid growth in e-books, something closer to the medium for Chaucer’s volumes has made a great comeback.

史蒂夫·乔布斯在推出iPhone后不久表示纸质书可能要进入历史的阁楼了。但是别太急。在电子书经历了一段快速发展的时期后,经典纸质书籍的风潮再次迎来了复兴。


The hope of the iPhone, and the Internet in general, was that it would free people in closed societies. But the failure of the Arab Spring, and the continued suppression of ideas in North Korea, China and Iran, has not borne that out. And it’s beyond pathetic that the leader of the free world uses his phone to insult women, or send out bizarre videos of him beating up imaginary reporters.

总的来说,人们希望iPhone和因特网能解放在封闭的社会中的人类。但阿拉伯之春的失败,还有朝鲜、中国和伊朗对思想的持续压制都证实它们并没实现人们的期望。而且更可悲的是,自由世界的领导人用自己的手机侮辱女性,还发送自己殴打假想记者的奇怪视频。


The iPhone is still young. It has certainly been “one of the most important, world-changing and successful products in history,” as Apple C.E.O. Tim Cook said. But I’m not sure if the world changed for the better with the iPhone — as it did with the printing press — or merely changed.

iPhone还很年轻。正如苹果执行总裁蒂姆·库克说的那样,iPhone无疑已是“史上最重要、最能改变世界且最成功的产品”。但我不确定是否iPhone会像曾经印刷机那样使世界变得更好,或许仅仅是使世界有些改变而已。


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<原文链接:https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/07/opinion/iphone-apple-printing-press.html?_r=0>



One Comment

  1. 讀蠧篤 讀蠧篤
    Google Chrome 60.0.3112.113 Google Chrome 60.0.3112.113 Windows 8.1 x64 Edition Windows 8.1 x64 Edition
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.3; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/60.0.3112.113 Safari/537.36

    quills over calfskin 应该译成羽毛笔在牛犊皮纸上(书写)

    “小牛皮包裹的羽毛笔”是对over的误译

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